Freely adapted from Syndicate Scorpio Augmentations written
by Ville Vuorela
Augmentations in Syndicate V mean all kind of scientific means
of upgrading human body, from simple replacement parts to
bio-engineered new systems. They are all very sophicated high
technology and only available to minority of the population - those
who can afford them and live in suitable places. Do not expect to find
augmentations from low-life punks or thugs.
fall into three categories: genetics that means altering the patient's
genes with artificial viruses, bioware that means replacing organs and
organic tissue with genetically altered replacements and finally
cyberware that means implanting synthetic components and even
machinery into the body. Making yourself immune to ordinary wound
infections is done with genetics. Having a separate gland to increase
the production of adrenaline is bioware. Having your eye replaced with
a camera that can see abnormal wavelengths is cyberware.
Augmentations can be detected via different ways from blood
and tissue samples to raw scanning of cybersystems. In sports,
compatitors are not expected to have any traces of bioware (like
nanobots) in their system.
Cyberware is usually classified as old technology, often called as
first generation of augmentations, as they usually require more
maintenance and are more easily rejected by the host body. In
addition, they are usually subject to EMP (electro-magnetic pulse).
advanced technology, most cyberware can be replaced with bioware
versions, and bioware systems are usually called as second
generation augmentations. However, heavy duty hudraulic systems
like robotic systems and cyber monsters remain as metal constructions.
The most common use of augmentations are various public
modifications available from some private clinics,
and they are available to almost anyone, providing they can afford it.
Most of the people cannot.
The other section of augmentations are those special high-technology
military grade augmentations only available to special troops and
subjects of the corporate research centers. These augmentations can
make the subject superhuman, but their technology is usually very
expensive and sometimes a bit unstable. All these augmentations are
only available as background options and paid with character
points. The price of various systems are based on their usability,
and character point prices are not comparable to prices of actual
modifications if they are later acquired. In any case,
no real world prices are given, but characters may accuire these
modifications later during campaign. Some of the systems might be
publicly available, too, but as same functions are usually available
via auxialary equipment, there is no reason to use augmentations.
Augmentations and damage
Most non-cyber systems are self-repairing but extensive damage can
render them dysfunctional. Such a damage usually requires treatment in
high-level medical laboratories as new systems need to be grown. Price
and time needed for such an operation varies depending on the damaged
system and how extensive the damage is.
Cybersystems can get more easily broken but this damage can usually be
fixed by skillful micro-mechanic. Only when the link to biological
systems is damaged, a treatment detailed above is needed.
When a character is augmented, the difference between natural and
augmented attributes becomes unclear. For example, a character with
good (+1) awareness might have that because he was born like that or
because he originally had worse awareness but after genetic bombing
and nanosurgery he now has good awareness. For this reason, there is
no big list of various attribute enhance augmentations (although there
is some, as they can be more easily added later), but instead that can
be commented to character description how natural any attributes are -
or perhaps the character simply does not know - if he has been
partially grown in corporate laboratory, where does the exact line of
natural and augmented go.
All prices include basic drugs and nanotechnology which is part of
the operation. Any hospital bills are not counted. Long queues to
surgery are common, so if you need to get the fix quickly, it costs
- Eye Surgeon
It is very common to get your eyelenses replaced with artificial
ones if you have sight problems. This requires only a short time
and then one day of recovery time. 200e
- Repaired Hearing
If you have lost you hearing in an accident, a new drum can be grown
for as low as 500e
- Plastic Surgeon
People still get their nose and scars fixed. Some even make bigger
changes. Prices vary a lot depending on quality and what is cut
- Body Decoration
All kind of body decoration is available, from fluoriscient tattoos
and color-changing fingernails to subdermal wristwatches.
Prices vary from as low as 10e to thousands.
- Health Upgrade
If you have money, you can get your kidneys, liver and lungs
replaced or fixed now and then so that you better survive heavy
metals and other toxics of the modern world. The basic treatment means
injected nanobots to repair the organs, takes some weeks after
injection and is usually done each 3-5 years. Treatment is about
1000e each time.
- Replacement Parts
If you have lost a finger, arm, leg or an eye a new one can be grown
from your DNA. This usually takes some weeks and then nanosurgery is
used to attach it. The new limb can also have some bio-enhancements
like strengtened and more flexible bones. Note that if the subject
did not have the given part originally, it cannot be regrown.
10000e and up, more if fast replacement needed.
- Neural Receptors
For those who want more powerful neural input from VR systems or just
need more accurate and deep experience of wetware, extra
receptors can be inserted into cortex. This is usually done with
nanosurgery, no need to open up the skull. But remember, you are
toying with your brains here! If used to gain better control of
vehicle or similar system, this gives +1 bonus to Reaction value.
- Genetic Engineering
Genetic thepary with artificial viruses increases one
attribute by +1, up to a maximum of +2. This operation takes
some months to perform, in full treatment, and then usually takes
about a year for the full results to come in effect.
50000e, more for faster therapy.
More advanced augmentations are not available to common public. Maybe
they are too high-tech and classified or just too dangerous. No one
really knows how long the people with most advanced new augmentations
is going to live. Thus, the laws concerning various augmentations vary from place to
place. In some countries, you need to have decent documents that
you have something weird inside you. In some countries, no one
cares or even notices. And in some countries, you are taken into
custody and handed to friendly corporate for extra investigations.
Public flights and high security places might prove problems.
Likewise, most high-level augmentations are experimental and classified
corporate technology. Other corporations might pay a big pile
of cash for the new technology. It is a heart warming to know
that they just want some part of you.
Following rules apply to fitting augmentations to characters:
- Classified augmentations can only be taken if the background
of the character permits that. See character creations, you need either first or
second generation augmentations background.
- Augmentations are not visible without more closely
examination unless noted otherwise. The exception is that some
cheaper or older systems are much more visible despite what the
text says. So, a character with obvious augmentations can have a
strange skin color, full metal eyes or very bulky muscles.
- Many augmentations modify character's attributes. Some of
the augmentations just give bonus level, but usually they replace
entire attribute if the original is lower. If they
completely replace one or more attribute, the character does not
get character points for lowering that attribute beforehand, nice
try. On the other hand, if the augmentation only replaces some
sub-attribute like quickness, balance or reaction, the character
can modify his basic attribute normally, so you can have a clumsy
(agility -1) character with lightning fast reactions (quickness
- Cyber- and bioware does not automatically make it's wearer
insane. He might be a bit crazy, but it is not enforced like
in some other systems. However, it might be a good idea to
take various physical and mental disadvantages, like various
allergies, need for drugs, concern of own humanity etc.
You do not need augmentations to be on the top. Experience is everything,
not just some fancy nanotech which can be replaced with appropriate
equipment. However, augmentations can give the vital edge especially
in areas where equipment falls short, so always be
prepared that the target might do something you would
First and Second Generation Augmentations
All augmentations are classified as one of the three types of
augmentations (cybernetic, biotech or genetic). All of these
are normally available to those with augmentations, was it either
first or second generation technology. However, some augmentations are
limited to second generation creations, and in any case, first
generation augmentations ae usually more crude and visible (the
mecha syndrome) and biotech is usually partly
cybernetic. Likewise, second generation cybernetics are usually more
or less biotech and have very little mechanical or electronical
parts, thus reducing the need for possible physical maintenance
and suspectibility to EMP effects.
The power to run various augmentations is taken from the
body. Low-power cybernetic augmentations drain bioelectricity while
more powerful biotech augmentations use normal energy from the
body. This means that the character with active
powerful biotechical augmentations needs lots of nutrition. They
usually have a faster metabolic circulation to allow rapid digestion
Eye augmentations of are relatively easy to make. Biotech transplants
are usually made to the retina, whilst cybernetic implants are usually
in front, just behind the lens. Biotech implants are active all the
time, cybernetic implants are turned on and off at the same order as
they have been implanted by touching a subdermal switch in the corner
of the eye. While augmentations do not change the general appearance of
the eye (cosmetic surgery is readily available at civilian clinics),
some features can be detected. For example a low-lite retina makes the
eyes reflect light much like the eyes of a cat, while cybernetic
vision plates behind the lens make the pupil glow faintly in green or
blue when active.
Please note that some augmented systems make normal retinal projectors
and similar systems work worse than normally.
- Display (0.25 cp)
Cybernetic, a secondary len to act as screen for various sight
projection. The input is given through small socket usually fitted
behind ear or somewhere else, under skin. Works like common retinal
- Electro Filter (0.5 cp)
Cybernetic, a display panel behind the lens. This display panel
substitutes visible light frquencies with abnormal frequencies, making
it possible to see electromagnetic fields, various types of radiation
and the patterns of electrical wiring and components through thin
- Enchanced Retina (0.5 cp, 1 cp improved version)
Biotech, the amount of receptors in the retina is artificially
increased, improving image quality, contrast and depth-perception.
Subject has visual awareness of +2 (awareness sub-attribute),
used in visual observation and ranged combat tasks. Improved version
gives Superhuman +3 visual awareness.
- Light Filter (0.25 cp)
Biotech, the eyeball fluids are photosensitive, responding to rapid
increases in luminosity by becoming immediately opaque to that
wavelength and clearing just as rapidly once the danger has
passed. The user does not get blinded by flashes or even blinding
- Light Intensifier (0.25 cp)
Biotech, the amount of low-light receptors in the retina is
increased. Enables normal, if colour-deficient vision in twilight or
near-perfect darkness, but not in total darkness.
- Magnification (0.5 cp)
Cybernetic lens behind the real lens, up to x 8 magnification
- Secondary Eyelids (0.25 cp)
Biotech, these transparent membranes close over your eyes as soon as
the eyes become irritated, shielding them from gases, sparks or
dust. The membrane hinders long-range observation of ranges of hundred
meters, but it also makes clear underwater vision possible, much like
- Thermographic Filter (0.5 cp)
Cybernetic, a display panel behind the lens. This creates a
false-colour image of IR sources, making objects emitting heat (hotter
than the surrounding air) appear red, yellow and white, and objects
absorbing heat as faint green or strong blue. Same-temperature
objects appear as black silhuettes against their background. You could
see puffs of breath coming an attacker who waits behind a corner, or
follow a fleeing enemy by his red footprints. Image gets too cloudy to
be useful beyond 50 metres. Also works with active IR systems, in
which case the range limitation is ignored.
- UV Filter (0.5 cp)
Cybernetic, like thermographic vision but used to filter ultraviolent
frequences. Used mainly with active UV flashlights, laser sights,
security systems and similar systems.
Ear augmentations are usually cybernetic, as microphones working on
bioelectricity can be made just efficient and accurate than the
natural hearing organs, leaving plenty of space inside the ear. The
signals received by the microphone are then sent as electrical
impulses to the auditory nerves and heard as sound. The more unusual
ear augmentation features are turned on and off in the order they were
installed by touching a subdermal switch at some part of the
ear. Augmentations are implanted to both ears, while the switch needs
to be in just one ear.
- Balance Processor (0.5 cp, 1 cp enhanced)
Cybertech, always active, abnormally sharp sense of balance gives the
user Balance +2 (agility sub-attribute), used in all tasks needing
balance, like acrobatics, dodging or skateboarding. The enhanced
version gives Superhuman +3 balance.
- Basic Hearing Apparatus (0.25 cp, 1 cp improved)
Replacing the eardrum with bioelectronics. Any hearing problems are
fixed, except if the problem is in brain, and the user has normal
hearing, with the exception that he is not harmed nor deafened by loud
or high-frequency noises. Not even by a gun going off next to his
ear. The improved version also grants Superb +2 hearing awareness
- Directional Hearing (0.25 cp)
The hearing of both ears can be concentrated at sounds coming to them
from a certain angle, making it possible to ignore background noises
and hear sounds from a certain direction of source as if the
surroundings were completely silent.
- Ear Speakers (0.25 cp)
The user can listen to any preset audio channels from G-Net (all
modern radio communicators use G-Net as well, although their messages
are scrambled) without the people standing next to him noticing.
Similar effect is achieved with micro-earspeaker
- Ultrafrequent Hearing (0.25 cp)
Cybernetic, by turning the subdermal wheel behind the ear the user
can listen to frequences not normally heard by the man.
The cyberpunk vision of metallic arms never came true. Such an arm
would be heavy and strain the shoulder, its complex mechanisms would
require plenty of maintenance and the energy requirements of
superhuman strength are far too much for protein generators and
bioelectricity. Although such arm is technologically feasible, the
energy requirements alone would make it impractical. Augmentations to
limbs are 90% biotech implants and changes to the digits and
- Arm Blade (0.25 cp)
Cybertech, a polymer blade inside the forearm. When extended, it just
out of the wrist below the hand and for all intentions and purposes it
works like a polymer knife, except that it can't be dropped. It is
extended and withdrawn with a certain movement of the wrist.
- Extended Reach (0.25 cp)
With flexible bioplastic joints any limb can be temporarily extended
for 30 centimetres, making the total increase to user's reach almost a
metre. Extended limb has very little strength available for
manipulating the reached objects.
- Flexible Joints (0.5 cp)
Biotech, with exertion the joints can bend into unnatural directions,
making all tries to escape from bonds much easier and allowing the
user to pass through impossible small openings or work in positions
usually considered to be impossible.
- Gripper Modification (0.5 cp)
Biotech. Additional muscles and tendons in the hands make their grip
so strong that the fingers are more likely to be pulled off before
they let go. User has superhuman strength of +3 for gripping,
grasping and strangling purposes only (or +1 higher than normally if
already has +3 or higher strength).
- Muscle Charger (0.5 cp per location)
A cybernetic protein generator and a charger that can send an electric
pulse to selected muscle groups once per hour, causing a controlled
convulsion of all muscles simultaneously. If implanted on hips or
legs, it increases jump distance by 100%, although the landing may be
uncontrolled. If implanted in an arm, the user can punch though most
wood and construction material walls and doors (with about +2 to
normal strength), or takes a wound if the blow fails to penetrate.
The blow is too inaccurate for combat.
- Razors (0.25 cp)
Cybernetic. Mono-edged small blades are fitted under fingernails and
they can be extended and retracted with specific muscle
movement. These edges are useful to cut small soft things like
envelopes, plastic wrappings or throats.
- Steel Knuckles (0.25 cp)
Cybernetic implant that covers the knuckles and the back of the hand
with a rigid steel frame, turning user's hand into dangerous melee
These augmentations are made to entire body and mainly its muscles.
- Boosted Reflexes (1 cp)
Biotech, enhanced synapses and muscles give active superb (+2)
quickness (quickness is sub-agility of character attribute
agility). Remember that reaction speed is dependant on both agility
(quickness) and awareness.
- Chameleon Skin (2 cp, 2nd generation only)
Biotech, subject's skin can react to environment changes and cool or
heat to mask the subject against thermographic detection and change
color to give limited chameleonic abilities. The change is not very
fast and only works well when needed changes are very minimal in
lightning, heat and area (like face only in room temperature).
Thermographic masking usually only lasts for some minutes after
extra heat must be dispensed somehow.
- Lower Body Muscle Implant (1 cp)
Biotech, additional muscle groups in the legs increase running speed
and jump distances by 50%.
- Pressure Stabilization (1 cp)
Biotech, the body of the character can stand more severe pressure changes than
a normal man. He can dive into 200 meters without severe pressure
- Subdermal Armor (2 or 4 cp)
Biotech. These are strong and flexible strands of polymer that
increase the overall toughness and damage resistance of the human
body. In game terms, they give toughness +1 (2 cp) or +2 (4 cp)
against all normal physical damage, even to those with penetration
- Synthetic Muscles (3 or 2 cp)
Limbic muscles are replaced with genetically engineered muscles that
burn proteins and absorb oxygen from blood more efficiently and also
remove waste products and acids faster than normal (endurance
+2). These muscles also usually grant the subject much higher
strength (superb +2). They can be taken in addition to other muscle
implants. The cost is 3 cp alone, or 2 cp if the character has
augmented blood system.
- Synthetic Skin (1 cp)
Biotech. Subject's skin is replaced with special polymer build and
it grants 1/0 armor against damage, but looks a bit strange if
examined more closely. And you can never get a tan anymore - but no
skin cancer either.
- Upper Body Muscle Implant (0.5 cp)
Biotech. Additional muscles and tendons in the upper body and
shoulders give +1 bonus level to strength for lifting and related
tasks, like punching.
These gadgets are not involved in the operation of any body part, but
alter and improve the biological processes taking place within the
body. They are usually, but not always, implanted into the torso.
- Augmented Blood System (2 cp basic, 4 cp advanced, 2nd
Biotech. The subject has enhanced blood composition and circulation
and various organs of the character has extra resistance against
various poisons, toxins and radiation. The character
effectually has superb (+2) health. The advanced version grants
superhuman (+3) health but is only available as a second generation
augmentation. As a downside, both augmentations also mean that the
character has very special blood type which can cause problems in
- Augmented Smell/Taste (0.25 cp)
This is basically a biotech chemical sensor that reacts to most types
of known toxic molecules by making them smell and taste foul, thus
warning the user of impending danger. Exotic spices can also trigger
this reaction, which can be embarrassing at state dinners. Human sense
of taste and smell can be more accurate by increasing the number of
receptors, but it seems that humans are incapable of interpreting the
world of smells correctly.
- Augmented Voicebox (0.5 cp)
This improved biotech version of the human voicebox gives not only
bonuses (+1 level if you need numbers) to singing and shouting, but also
allows the user to convincingly imitate the voice and tone of any
other person. It does not teach him to speak like the imitated target,
- Adrenaline Charger (0.5 cp)
Biotech, this organ gathers and stores adrenaline and is activated by
a standard adrenaline rush triggered by fear, anger or pain. It
increases Reaction by one level (+1) and reduces effects of physical wounds,
but the user must have strong willpower to to avoid responding to
any provocation or start with violence.
- Body Pocket (0.25 cp)
Biotech. This is an artificial body cavity with strong walls and
enough room to hide a medium-sized pistol. The muscle implant that
closes and opens it is controlled with a rehearsed reflex.
- Endorphine Charger (0.25 cp)
Biotech. This organ collects endorphines and is triggered by pain. It
drowns the pain signals, effectively allowing the user act despite the
pain for next 30 minutes. It works once per day. Since the triggering of this
device produces a sensation similar to orgasm, some users develop
masochistic tendencies, hurting themselves to trigger the device.
- Gills (0.5 cp)
The character can breathe underwater via gills in some suitable
place. If they are under clothes, they must be revealed, of course.
- Oxygen Charger (0.5 cp)
Cybertech. This device stores oxygen. When breathing or the working of
lungs is inhibited, it kicks in, keeping the user's blood oxygenated
and scrubbing it clean from carbondioxide for a maximum of 30 minutes
per day. It effectively removes the need to breathe for the duration.
- Poison Gland (0.5 cp)
Biotech, this gland produces three doses of venom per 24 hours. If
placed in the mouth it will poison the user's saliva, but other
locations and uses in conjunction with cybernetic or biotech weapons is also
possible. The user is immune to the poison and his blood contains the
- Regeneration System (1 cp, 4 cp enhanced, 2nd generation only)
Biotech. The character has much improved natural healing systems and
all healing times are effectually at 25% of the normal, like the
character was permannently effected by various healing drugs with no
side effects. The enchanced version is only available as second
generation augmentation and makes the character truly superhuman.
He is able to replace lost blood in matter of minutes providing nutrition
is available (already eaten or just eaten). Similarily wounds close
much faster and fractures in a matter of hours. However, they must be
braced well by a medically trained person or otherwise there is a
danger of bones growing to bent directions. Even damage to organs and
nerves regenerate to some extent, but lost parts must still be regrown
in the laboratories, they still do not regenerate.
- Secondary Arteries (0.5 cp)
Biotech. These arteries are opened for use when blood pressure in the
original arteries drops because of ruptures. Bleeding is reduced
considerably and shock survival time is doubled.
- Stabber (0.25 cp)
Cybertech. A needle implanted into a surprising body location and can
be loaded with any chemical which is then injected into the body of
- Throat Implant (0.25 cp)
Cybernetic. A microphone and a transmitter that can send to any G-Net
audio channel or to private radio channels. The user can speak into
the microphone also by whispering or murmuring so that outsiders
can't hear what he says.
- Ultra Digestion (0.25 cp)
Biotech. The user can receive nutrients from almost any organic source
and has superhuman Health +4 against ingested poisons or bacteria. He could
safely drink gasoline for the hydrocarbons it contains, but this
implant does not improve the taste.
Brain augs are almost always biotech, as the consequences of inserting
hardware into the grey matter have been proven to be
unpredictable. The implanting procedure is difficult and can be done
only in the best laboratories, but also the results have been
awesome. Everything a person knows, be it knowledge, emotions or
skills, exist as clusters of neural connections in the brain. These
connections can be created artificially, or even implanted into the
proper parts of the brain with nanosurgery. The patient can be made to
learn new things, or to incorporate reflexes into his skills and
actions to make them quicker and instinctive.
Except for Instinct Shield, these augmentations are only
available as 2nd generation augmentations.
- Alternate Personality Cluster (0.5 cp)
The subject can switch into a different apparent personality with its own
body language, mannerisms and emotions. Attributes and skills are
unaffected, as are memories. With a decent disguise and an AP Cluster
the user would fool also any lie detector or psychological test.
- Focus Cluster (0.5 cp)
The subject shuts out any conscious knowledge of the outside world
while concentrating at the task at hand. The task must take some time
for this to be possible. The implant is activated by a process similar
to meditation. The user is completely oblivious to things not related
to the task, but has willpower raised by two levels (+2) to
concentrate on task at hand.
- Instinct Shield (0.5 cp)
So-called Zombie Chip, Instinct Shield protects wearer from
mental manipulation giving effective Willpower of +4 against any such
attack. Additionally, the character has better resistance against
unconsciousness because of enhanced blood circulation systems, and
superb Balance (+2). Negative result is that normal emotions of the
character are almost completely nullified.
- Language Cluster (0.25 cp)
Any one language is learned at level 1 (trained)
- Math Cluster (1 cp)
The subject becomes a human calculator and can solve extremely complex
equations. This also makes him very good at approximations, as long as
initial values are well chosen.
- Memory Cluster (2 cp)
The subject gains eidetic memory, being capable of memorising huge
volumes of information accurately, as if he were accessing it
again. If the memorised information is more than a month old,
the character can forgot things, by gamemasters discretion (and
depending on Awareness and Willpower attribute)
- Reflex Implant (1 cp)
This implant raises subject reaction speed to superhuman levels (+4),
but only reflexes. Practically this only applies to sudden pain and
learnt reactions, like drawing hand away from hot place. The subject
can also "tune" himself to certain pre-determined reaction, like
drawing a gun when someone reaches for pocket. These reflexes bypass
any normal reactions and mental control, so subject reacts
first and thinks later.
- Skill Cluster (0.5 cp, 1 cp specialilty)
A new skill is learned to trained (+1) level, or gives extra boost to
old one, especially in special areas defined by the cluster. The
speciality version gives master (+3) level use of one very narrow
skill, like 'snipe shot' (only long steady aimed sniping shots with
braced gun), 'fast draw', 'throwing knives' or 'lockpicking' (with old
fashioned lock picks).
- Sleep Enhancer (0.5 cp)
The overall need for sleep is reduced by 50% and the user can go
several days without sleeping before he shows any ill effects.
- System Link (1 cp)
All the augmentations with switches and other activation system are
linked to this special neural system, and by careful training the
subject can control these systems with mere brain thoughts. In hard
situations this may require Willpower test, but most of the time work
like a, well, thought. Augmentations controllable via this link is
various sight augmentation, metabolic systems, blades and razors etc.
If any new augmentations are added, they must be specifically tailored
for this system and still some weeks of training is needed.
Yes, it is possible to build a full cybernetic body, or so those
underground channels claim. And yes, it is quite inpractical, as they
need much more maintenance and are not self-repairing like living
tissue is. In any case, full chrome cyberware systems require full-day
maintenance and are thus quite inpractical in most cases. They are
reserved for special uses like building up cybermonsters, and are not
available to player characters.
But as said, it is possible. Such a creations are done by some
corporations to very special needs, like underwater exploration or very
heavy duty special work. They are expensive as hell and cost thousands
per day in just parts, and are usually slow and inagile. But in
theory, creations a bit like robocop or terminator are
possible. However, these are out of player character scope, and
details are left to gamemaster.
Syndicate V: The
Corporate Future (c) Kalle Marjola 2001-2002. See generic